After transforming my life and shedding 30 pounds of my own, I launched a nutrition coaching business and have helped my clients lose over 200 pounds over the past year. Below are some of the things that I have learned along the way:
Add don't subtract:
With weight loss, weight maintenance, and really any good habits, most people focus on restriction. They cut back on carbs, don't allow themselves to have any sweets, and hold the "I can't have that" mentality. While we should aim to cut some of the "bad" things out of our lives, I've learned that restriction usually isn't a strategy that will fair well over the long haul. Instead, we should focus on adding MORE of the good stuff into our lives. How can I get more whole foods into my diet? How can I fold more exercise into my weekly routine? Over time, as we get more of the beneficial things into our lives, we will see a natural change that actually sticks.
Perfect kills. We set unrealistic goals that we can't maintain over time, and when we misstep, we fall off the wagon completely. Instead of trying to be perfect, ask yourself this question: how can I be a little bit better? When you focus on incremental growth, you give yourself the margin you need when you do misstep, as we all do.
Getting back up:
For a long time, I thought that people who were fit and healthy never messed up. I thought that if I wanted to have a six pack, I would never be able to enjoy a slice of pizza or a night out with friends. Instead, what I've found is that high achievers- in fitness, nutrition, or anything else- fall down just like everyone else. The difference is that they hop back up on the wagon quicker than everyone else. When life throws you it's inevitable curveballs, don't get down. Get back up.
Track your progress and celebrate wins:
I've talked a lot about habit monitoring and how it can be a key driver in the change that you want to see. If you've ever been out on a lake - in a boat, on a raft, etc. - have you ever floated to where you want to go? The same is true in life. There will always be a current - resistance - that will lead you off-course if you aren't keeping tabs on where you are going. One of the most beneficial tools that my clients use is a simple wall calendar where they check off their habits for the day. The problem with good habits is that there usually is no immediate payoff in the short term. This trick, which is scientifically backed, will help you celebrate daily wins - and over time - will lead to more motivation and confidence.